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Are we witnessing the death of the Orioles?

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5 hours ago, NCRaven said:

He did say that the personal automobile would be dead, so I would think that includes time traveling Deloreans too!

The time traveling Deloreans would simply go back in time and take care of the Biff Howard Tannen problem. 

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A few points on the main topic:

   -- Attendance at all major sporting events is suffering at least a little.   There are NFL teams that sold out most of their games that don't now, and the NFL just put two teams in a city that probably won't support one team (in terms of attendance).   So that is one factor that has hurt the Orioles' attendance.   The advent of large screen HDTVs, with almost every significant sporting event televised, is hurting attendance in just about every sport.   Not to mention that the younger generation is less into the traditional major spots and more into soccer and more participatory things.

   -- Baseball has an aging fan base.   That is another factor that has hurt attendance across the board.

   -- The Orioles were bound to have a dropoff from the 1992-1997 attendance no matter what happened because the new ballpark honeymoon effect sold out nearly every game in that period.

   -- Obviously the Nats have caused a drop in attendance.

   -- And, yes, losing hurts attendance.  The year after we put together a competitive winning season you'll see a big bump from the previous season.   We'll NEVER get back to teh 1992-1997 levels for all the reasons above.   But that doesn't mean that the end is near.   I expect that as long as major league baseball remains a viable "major" sport, Baltimore will be represented.   Our history, our ballpark, and our fans' love for the Orioles will keep that going.   Now if we have another 14 year run without a winning season, that could really hurt.   But given that we now have a top 10 farm system in baseball, I don't think we are in store for that type of run again, not in the upcoming decade at least.

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St Louis really jumps out when you look at attendance numbers for MLB. They have big market attendance in an area with a modest population. Impressive. 

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7 hours ago, theocean said:

It definitely had a big impact - but I think that impact was felt years ago. At this point - I think the fanbases are pretty locked in. Even if things were switched and the O's were great and the Nats' were terrible - I doubt Montgomery County and NoVA residents would be rooting for the Orioles. They're clearly a part of the DC community and identify that way.

The only threat to the Orioles' existence is if they are sold to a new owner who specifically bought them to move the team to whatever new city offers the shiniest, new, tax-payer-funded stadium offer. But, you could say that about any team.

 

 

I don’t.   I’m from Virginia, don’t care what they do in DC.

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11 hours ago, Redskins Rick said:

Nats fan base is not all that rabid normally, IMO.

They are riding the wave of emotions of being in the playoffs and now World Series, they had their fair share of doom and gloomers, back in May, when they were under .500 and playing poorly in 4th place.

Baltimore supported their team through 14 years of extremely sad and troubling times.

The team is not losing money and while Angelos family isnt as wealthy as some other MLB owners, I think they will provide enough to allow this team to be a contender. 

I am a capitals/wizards fan. Grew up with them. DC's fan base is bandwagon more than anything. If you show that you are winning consistently fans will come. if you still stink they won't. Baltimore supports if you are a winner, as the attendance for O's games speak for itself (Raves also). Even when the Cubs sucked fans still went to games. 

If the Nats continue to show consistency with building a winner look out lol. Winning cures a lot. Just the way it is. 

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2 hours ago, weams said:

The time traveling Deloreans would simply go back in time and take care of the Biff Howard Tannen problem. 

Solved.

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6 hours ago, theocean said:

Certainly more wealth, but its not like there isn't enough money to fund the Orioles in Baltimore. The Baltimore-Columbia-Towson area has 2.8M people - that's more than Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Cleveland, and Milwaukee. That's pretty comparable to Denver's 2.9M and St. Louis' 2.8M.

If anything, the O's have proven they've been able to outspend and have larger payrolls than teams with much bigger markets: Miami, Tampa Bay, Minneapolis, San Diego.

Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and the others cities mentioned are 100 miles from no where. I’m sorry to say that, but there isn’t an alternative in those areas. Lots of options in the DMV. 

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I am glad this OP was not around in the 1960s...1969-1971...average attendance was never even at 14,000 with the greatest teams of all time.  Guess what...still here. 

I will love to look back on  this thread and some of these posts in three or four years when we are back in it.  

And when we get back in it AND the Nats are a power team...maybe a true rivalry will exist and maybe even a Beltway Series.  A true rivalry will fire up new fans in both areas. 

Either way, the Orioles are going nowhere. Not in 10 years, not in 15 years, not in 100 years.   No other location has Camden Yards, Babe Ruth’s birthplace, Cal, Frank, Brooks, Eddie, Earl and MLB is not going to leave this iconic ballpark and its tradition empty and abandoned to move to ummm Nashville...lol.

My niece also is the agent now for Harbor East and other new downtown condos...they are as hot as anything in DC or anyplace else. 

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12 hours ago, DrungoHazewood said:

The Orioles have revenues of about $250M and a player payroll of, what, $70M or so?  They pay a fairly trivial rent on their beautiful and completely taxpayer-funded stadium.  Their coaching staff makes a total of a few $million a year. 

I think this misrepresents the non-payroll expenses of the team.    Per Forbes, in 2018 the O’s had revenues of $251 mm, of which $42 mm were gate receipts.    The team reportedly had operating losses of $6.5 mm, and player expenses (salaries + benefits) of $161 mm.   So, that implies that other costs were $251 mm - $161 mm + $6.5 mm = $96.5 mm.    That’s more than paying trivial rent and a few coaches.   
 

Extrapolating those numbers to this year, let’s assume non-gate revenue was flat, gate revenue was down proportionately to attendance (but it may have been worse), and player expenses were proportionate to payroll per BB-ref.   That leads to the following estimate:   
 

Gate receipts $33.5 mm

Other revenue: $209 mm

Total revenue $242.5 mm

Less: non-player expenses $96.5 mm

Less: player expenses $94 mm 

Net income:   $52.5 mm

That’s probably too high, given that Elias has been investing in technology, infrastructure etc.   We’ll see what Forbes estimates next spring.     But certainly Elias had savings available to invest in other areas.

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7 minutes ago, Frobby said:

   That’s more than paying trivial rent and a few coaches.   
 

That is where the accounting chicanery comes into play.  They still paying debt service on the money Angelos loaned the team?

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10 hours ago, LocoChris said:

People need to stop pretending the Nats are brand new. They’ve been around since ‘05. 

And tanking/not being good got them Harper, Strasburg, Rendon and a host of other talents.  Even if they win, it's a legit possibility that Rendon and Strasburg both depart via free agency, and without them, they've got a team that will hang a few games around .500, if they get the bullpen right. 

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9 hours ago, Frobby said:

I think this misrepresents the non-payroll expenses of the team.    Per Forbes, in 2018 the O’s had revenues of $251 mm, of which $42 mm were gate receipts.    The team reportedly had operating losses of $6.5 mm, and player expenses (salaries + benefits) of $161 mm.   So, that implies that other costs were $251 mm - $161 mm + $6.5 mm = $96.5 mm.    That’s more than paying trivial rent and a few coaches.   
 

Extrapolating those numbers to this year, let’s assume non-gate revenue was flat, gate revenue was down proportionately to attendance (but it may have been worse), and player expenses were proportionate to payroll per BB-ref.   That leads to the following estimate:   
 

Gate receipts $33.5 mm

Other revenue: $209 mm

Total revenue $242.5 mm

Less: non-player expenses $96.5 mm

Less: player expenses $94 mm 

Net income:   $52.5 mm

That’s probably too high, given that Elias has been investing in technology, infrastructure etc.   We’ll see what Forbes estimates next spring.     But certainly Elias had savings available to invest in other areas.

I'd like to know how much of those "other expenses" were things like depreciation and other legal-but-not-real things that businesses do to limit their tax exposure.  And how much money MASN provided to the very same owners of the Orioles that isn't reflected on the Orioles' books.  The idea that the Orioles lost $6.5M, meaning Angelos and team had to write checks out of their own accounts to keep the team solvent, seems preposterous.

What legitimate other expenses could they have that add up to about $100M dollars?   In any case, we know that teams with less revenue (the Rays, in particular) are able to manage their team far better and have an operating profit according to Forbes.  And then there's the Yanks, with 2/3rds of a $billion in annual revenues who apparently by some sleight of hand had a lower operating income than the Pirates.

And the Orioles are listed as having a value of $1.3B, 19th in MLB.  And ahead of more successful on-field teams like the Twins, Brewers and Indians.

They'll be fine.

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2 hours ago, sportsfan8703 said:

Our fanbase definitely flew South. 

How many people do you know who aren't from DC who used to be real O's fans who have abandoned the team for the Nats?  The only ones I know are old guys who grew up around DC and used to root for the Senators.

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